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SUNY Will Split Nanoscale College From U. at Albany, Creating a New Campus

Trustees of the State University of New York voted on Tuesday to begin the process of splitting off the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering into a separate, degree-granting institution, according to reports by the Times Union newspaper of Albany and the Associated Press. Several trustees, however, challenged whether the separation was necessary, saying it had not been sufficiently reviewed and could end up duplicating administration costs for SUNY.

In a news release from SUNY, the system’s chancellor, Nancy L. Zimpher, who champions the move, said the task of separating the institutions would be completed by the 2014-15 academic year. The nanoscale college, which has been credited with attracting billions of dollars in investment to Albany, already has its own administrative structure and operates with some autonomy.

But a study group assembled by Ms. Zimpher concluded that to achieve its goals, the college needed more independence. Those goals, according to the Times Union, include amassing up to $500-million in research dollars in 2015 alone while continuing to build up space used for classes and research by public- and private-sector scientists.

SUNY’s news release says the ultimate result of the breakup will be “the creation of a statewide campus that expands high-tech educational opportunities for students, increases economic development across Upstate, and allows for efficiencies through shared services and consolidations.” It adds that there will be “no additional costs to SUNY or New York State taxpayers” but offers no detail on what the costs will be or who will bear them.

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